Sultan Kudarat, Philippines - After three years of successfully evading the Philippine authorities,Ustadz Ameril Umbra Kato, the founder of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) is finally dead.
A BIFF spokesman confirmed his passing at 1:35 a.m.,Tuesday due to phlegm not of stroke.But military official said the information they received indicated Kato “died of heart attack”.
Kato died in his hideout in the Sayaf area in Datu Hofer town, also in the second district of Maguindanao, not far from Shariff Aguak, the old provincial capital, where the provincial police office and the tactical command post of the Army’s 601st Brigade are both located, Philstar said.
Kato’s condition started to worsen last Friday, according to a former member of the Maguindanao provincial board, who asked not to be identified for security reasons.
“My wife attended an educational gathering then and one of the participants asked the group to pray for Imam Kato," the source, who resides in Shariff Aguak, said.
His relative and followers of the BIFF also confirm the news of his passing.
A paralytic Kato survived for three years on maintenance drugs Amlodipine, Losartan Potassium and Captopril, regularly bought from a generic drugstore along Sinsuat Avenue in Cotabato City when he was still alive.
According to Philstar, Kato, who had studied Islamic theology in Saudi Arabia in the 1970s as a scholar of then President Ferdinand Marcos, started as a field commander in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Kato once a memmber of MILF, dismayed by the botched signing of the GPH-MILF Memorandum of agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in 2008, Kato's men, then still with the MILF, attacked Christian communities bordering Maguindanao and North Cotabato.
Kato is one of the country’s most wanted persons with a P10-million bounty on his capture, will be buried within 24 hours from the time he died according to Islamic tradition, CNNPhilippines posted.
The question is who will get the 10-million reward money?
He was listed as most wanted person in the Philippine National Police (PNP) website.Among Kato’s felony includes 15 counts of arson, nine counts of attempted murder, multiple murder, frustrated murder, and 26 counts of robbery.